Originally from San Mateo, California, Antoine Rajkovic is currently a 3rd year student majoring in Human Biology and Society and minoring in Global Health at UCLA. While working on the GHU committee, Antoine is also an urban choreography dancer who’s been dancing with Foundations Choreography for 2 years.
Having been involved in different health organizations and seeing how non-profits and charitable organizations at the college level work, GlobeMed’s idea of always attempting to make long term change by creating self sufficiency and eventually re-partnering has always intrigued me. At first, it truly bothered me that in the future we might no longer be partnered with the Mpoma Community HIV AIDS Initiative, especially because this cause has always held a very special place in my heart. I felt like it seemed wrong to eventually stop providing aid to our partner, because if we were consistently providing help to the communities we work with, why would we want to withdraw the support we were providing?
But with constant education about global health at a large organization level and the difference between short term and long term aid thanks to GHU, I started realizing why it mattered that we were partnered with an organization that we would eventually withdraw from. The issue with larger non-profit organizations is that there happens to be a lot of bureaucracy and internal organization structure functioning that often limits their impacts or the usage of all of their funds to make significant change. Additionally, when we send short term aid to countries in need, it typically only acts as a bandaid or crutch that the receiving communities rely on. This is why GlobeMed’s work with Grassroots Organizations matters.
While we do somewhat longer term work, what matters the most to us is long term effect. We aren’t providing aid to do the work for the communities; we support them in developing their own self infrastructure and self sustaining. All our funds and aid goes directly to helping develop our projects so that when we finally withdraw from our partner, we know that we’ve made long lasting impact. While re-partnering seems like a bad thing at first glance, we know that we will have truly made important change in the world and that those communities are finally independent, no longer in need of aid, which is the true goal of partnering with Grassroots organizations.